Case study: Preventing van theft
With over 36,000 signatures, NoVANber proved that van theft is on the rise, but are you protecting your business?
In 2016, 44% of commercial vehicles were stolen, but this increased to a huge 82% last year. As all contractors will know, having your van broken into or taken has a huge impact on your earnings. Not only does it give you the stress of dealing with insurance and the police, but it can also mean weeks of lost and cancelled work.
Unfortunately, thieves are getting smarter and some are even using electronic key fobs to break into vehicles without leaving any signs of damage. They have also wised up to the value of your tools and actively target those that are worth more.
So, how can you tackle this head on?
Invest in a tracker
A tracker won’t stop a thief from breaking into your van, but it’ll make it easier to get your property back should it be stolen. There are various types of trackers available and some can even lower your insurance premium.
If you can, park your van with the sliding or rear doors against a wall or fence, so they can’t be easily opened. And, if
possible, use a well-lit area in view of CCTV.
Even if you leave an empty bag on display inside your van, it can still be too much of a temptation for a thief. So always remove tool bags, sat navs, wallets and phones – your van should be an empty shell at the end of a long day.
Don’t leave van keys by your front door
Never leave your van keys on display at home or on site – most thieve are opportunists, so why would they don’t force doors or break windows when they can simply drive away? Lock keys away, keep them in your pocket or hide them in a drawer.
Tag your tools
Identification marks will make it easier to spot your stolen tools if they are recovered, and will allow the police to return them to the rightful owner. You should also keep a note of all serial numbers or make an itemised list with the make and model of all your tools to help police identify them and simplify the claim process.
Always check your policy wording to find out exactly what’s covered with your van insurance. If you don’t have tools insurance as part of your business insurance policy, you should consider adding it, as it can help pay for the cost of replacing stolen tools. Just make sure you’ve read the terms and conditions.
For more advice on top products to prevent van theft, visit your local BEW branch.